Customers, farmers antagonised while middlemen take away profits: Nawale

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 12 April 2018

Pune: Ajit Nawale of All India Kisan Sabha, who was hailed as the master for organising the Kisan Long March, said the system is designed in a way that the middlemen take away the profits of agriculture while the consumer and the farmer are antagonised. 

Nawale was speaking at a programme, ‘Agriculture: Frustrations and New Directions,’ organised by the city-based Academy of Political and Social Studies on Tuesday. 

Pune: Ajit Nawale of All India Kisan Sabha, who was hailed as the master for organising the Kisan Long March, said the system is designed in a way that the middlemen take away the profits of agriculture while the consumer and the farmer are antagonised. 

Nawale was speaking at a programme, ‘Agriculture: Frustrations and New Directions,’ organised by the city-based Academy of Political and Social Studies on Tuesday. 

Nawale said, “The farmers are treated unjustly and it has been the official policy of the country since Independence. 85 per cent of the sugar that is produced is sold to industrial buyers like soft drink companies among others. Only 15 per cent sugar is actually for consumers and yet when there is a demand for better rates for sugarcane, the excuse of inflation is given. This means that for the benefit of industry, both the consumers and farmers are robbed of value.” 

The farmers are treated unjustly and it has been the official policy of the country since Independence.  For benefit of industry, both farmers and consumers are robbed of value. 
—Ajit Nawale
(All India Kisan Sabha)

What The Speakers Said
- Ajit Nawale said that when farmers are asking for a loan waiver, they are not asking for unwarranted share. Farming is the only business where the raw material is bought in retail and the produce sold wholesale, he said. 
- Atul Deulgaonkar, an environmental activist, said, “As the issue of environmental crisis rises, the farmer, who is the primary stakeholder in the environment, has to be taken into consideration while framing the policy.” 
- SP Shukla, former finance secretary for the Central government, said, “What we need is a moratorium on the sale of agriculture lands, a land-water usage policy and incentive to cooperative and collective farming.” 
- Datta Desai, a scholar, said, “It is a valid demand to expect a complete policy and system overhaul but the political will and energy for that will only come from the agricultural community.”'

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